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November 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jeff Dickerson, Michael Wright

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:00 PM)

Greetings from Halas Hall. The Bears are working out as we speak in the Walter Payton Center. A sunny, but windy day here in Lake Forest. Let's get it started.

Jared (Indianapolis)

With Bennett back Cutler looks like a new man...Do you think they will re-sign Earl and maybe go out and pursue another free agent option at reciever?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:03 PM)

At some point, Bennett should get a contract extension. Either during the season, or right after it. The Bears would then be wise to sign another wideout in free agency, or select one in the draft. I think it'll happen.

Ritchie (Houston)

I saw a report that the Bears where going to elevate Levi Horn from the practice squad, but instead they bring up Ricky Henry. What changed their minds and does Ricky have any shot to play on Sundays?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:05 PM)

The reason for the Henry move, instead of Horn, is that New Orleans wanted to sign Henry off the Bears practice squad this week. So to block the move, the Bears bumped up Henry to the 53. It was the only way the keep him. Obviously, they like Henry, or he wouldn't be taking up a roster spot.

Greg (Oakl Lawn)

After watching Tebowmania and not being able to understand it, do you think the Bears can beat the Broncos in Denver?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:06 PM)

I'm not a Tebow hater. The guy is a winner. But I don't see him having much luck running the ball against this Bears defense. The linebackers are too fast.

Paul (Atlanta)

How many more games do the Bears need to win to get into the playoffs? Does 4-3 get it done?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:09 PM)

The magic number is usually 10 wins. It helps that the Bears hold head to head tiebreakers over Atlanta and Tampa, but anything less than 10-6 is cutting it close.

Joe B (Oxford, CT)

Any concerns that DJ Moore may have suffered a high ankle sprain?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:09 PM)

It's a concern. Yes.

Mike (Chicago)

What happened to Corey Wooton. Is he a bust?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:11 PM)

I don't know if I'd label him a 'bust', but it's frustrating that Wootton can't even get active on game day. It's not a good sign. According to the Bears, he's healthy.

Jason (Los Angeles, CA)

I'm expecting the Bears to be in their nickel defense quite a bit against the pass happy Chargers offense. With DJ Moore's availability is question, do you think Corey Graham can be take care of business at the nickel position?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:13 PM)

Graham will get the start at nickel, a position he's practiced at the past few years. I think he'll do fine. Graham has always been an above average tackler, and I feel his coverage skills have improved over the years.

jason (indiana)

Wheres the fines for the bears/ lions game?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:14 PM)

D.J. Moore got hit with a $15,000 fine. That could be it for the Bears.

Marcus (Wichita)

With Williams going down and Carimi hopefully back in a couple gms, how do you see the o line the rest of the way. thanks

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:15 PM)

Marcus, I don't know when Carimi will be back, if at all this year. There are no plans to insert him back into the starting line-up, so barring an injury or horrible play, the line will stay the same on the right side and Edwin Williams will start at LG.

Owen (Virginia)

How many INT's do you think Rivers throw this Sunday??? I am going to say he plays better and only throws 2. One to Wright and the other to Jennings.

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:17 PM)

Rivers has tossed a league high 15 picks this year, so the odds are pretty good the Bears defense will get a couple on Sunday. I'll say the Bears come down with two interceptions....one to Tillman...and one to Briggs.

Uzair (Chicago)

All the ESPN experts are picking the Bears...trap game?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:18 PM)

Maybe for the experts, but not the Bears. San Diego has plenty of talent to give the Bears a good game. I don't believe this will be a push over.

Ryan (Iowa)

I was wondering if you had noticed the cleats that Marshawn Lynch wears very frequently with the Seahawks? From what I've seen, they seem to be a very bright green color that doesn't seem to fit in with the Seahawks uniforms. Do you know, is he being fined every week like Bennett?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:19 PM)

That's a great question, Ryan. I really don't know. I would lean towards saying 'no', because like Earl told me Tuesday, eventually the league will eject a player for uniform violations if it continues past like the third or fourth time.

Julius Peppers (Chicago)

Israel and I play a lot of snaps on D and sometimes get tired. Is there anyone on this roster that can step in and rush the passer from the end spot?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:20 PM)

Chauncey Davis?

raz (north dakota)

Can Edwin Williams pull effectively on that power run the Bears have run so much this season? It seems to be our most effective run.

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:21 PM)

I know the Bears feel Edwin Williams is a better pass protector than Chris Williams, but not sure if he's a better run blocker. Chris Williams did a nice job in the run game, so that aspect of his game will be missed. Guess we'll just have to see on Sunday when Williams pulls, because I guarantee you he will, numerous times.

Justin (Winfield, IL)

Who is more likely to make the pro bowl, Charles Tillman on Defense, or Corey Graham for special teams?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:22 PM)

Graham. I think this is the year Corey Graham gets named to the Pro Bowl. Usually it happens a year after it's supposed to for special teamers.

Brendan (Syracuse)

You mention drafting a WR, and our friends in South Bend have a talented one who might just work. However, my guess is the Bears go for a different Golden Domer and take Manti Te'o, its no secret that the linebackers are getting old, and typically the Bears go defense first. Its way too early to talk the draft, but do you think Floyd or Te'o will be suiting up in orange and blue next year?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:27 PM)

Interesting you bring up linebacker, Brendan, because the Bears need to add another one in the offseason. The problem has been picking the right linebacker in the draft. Since Briggs was selected in 2003, the Bears track record at the position is very poor. This year's sixth-round choice J.T. Thomas had a rough summer and ended up on IR, so I have no idea if he's any good. Te'o is a nice player, so is Floyd. I'm sure both are on the Bears radar, but I really won't know much on that front until the Senior Bowl and Combine roll around.

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:27 PM)

By the way....Detroit Free Press is reporting Matthew Stafford got fined $7,500.

brandon (scottsdale)

you mind hurrying this along a little bit, we'd like more than 3 questions to get answered?

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:31 PM)

Considering you insulted my partner and called him stupid in one of your previous questions, I don't think you're exactly a priority.

Jeff Dickerson
  (1:31 PM)

Need to jump on the radio. Mike is up next. Have a great weekend.

Michael
  (1:33 PM)

Insulted, and haven't even stepped into the room yet. Now that's my kind of party. Let's get it rolling.

Jamice (Forest Park, IL)

I was at the game Sunday and Devin Hester's theme music didn't play when he went back to receive punts. What happened? I think his them music should be"You Can't Touch This!" What do you think?

Michael
  (1:34 PM)

Well, his theme music is bad enough. You want to add an even more horrible song? This question makes the "C'mon, man" segment. Just kidding. But what I'm not kidding about is the suggestion this team should play M.C. Hammer for Hester's returns. Uh, no.

Dave (Chicago)

Hey Michael...keep up the great work covering the Bears...you and JD are the best in the business. The Bears secondary, particularly the safety play, has been much improved over the past 4 games. Do you think this is mostly attributed to schematic changes or are Major Wright and particularly Conte starting to find a groove?

Michael
  (1:36 PM)

Dave, appreciate the kind words. JD's the best in the business. I just carry his notebook. Now as for your question, I'd say it's a combination of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli simplifying things to get the defense to play faster, and the safety play you've mentioned. Major Wright and Chris Conte bring a playmaking element to that secondary in my opinion. The only problem right now is that both are a little hesitant in reacting to their reads. Once those guys get to where they're actually anticipating thing... Oh boy. I think you're gonna start seeing some interceptions.

brandon (scottsdale)

it was a joke michael, jeff was taking 5 minutes to answer a question, man, tough crowd...anyways...what's your prediction for sunday? 31-17 bears?

Michael
  (1:37 PM)

Mine is 34-20.

Jammy (NYC)

Any chance of the bears beating the pack come christmastime?

Michael
  (1:38 PM)

Absolutely, Jammy. If the Bears continue to grow and improve the way they have, it will set up a great NFC North showdown on Christmas. I think the Bears match up wiith the Packers better than most teams in the NFC.

Gabe (Jersey)

34-20 ...Bears?

Michael
  (1:38 PM)

My fault, didn't clarify. Yes. Da Bears.

Benjy (Chicago)

Did Mathew Stafford get a fine for his rough play on D.J Moore,if not,shouldn't he have?

Michael
  (1:39 PM)

Brian, don't know yet. I've got a couple of calls into league officials trying to find out. They'll get all the fine information this afternoon. So be sure to check ESPNChicago.com throughout the day. I'm pretty sure we'll have something this afternoon.

Gabe (Jersey)

Hey Mike... Love following your Bears coverage (from here in Jersey). Keep up the good work.I feel the Bears aren't getting enough credit from the National media. Sunday, B. Billick was doing nothing but saying how bad the Lions were playing, not their day etc.... giving no credit to the Bears.Is there any worse football commentator than Brian Billick?Da Bears!!!

Michael
  (1:41 PM)

Thanks, Gabe. I like Brian Billick and his knowledge of the game. I'm not sure I agree with your thought that the Bears aren't getting enough attention from the national media. I know I've seen at least two shows in which the commentators were saying that the Bears are the second-best team in the NFC behind the Packers. I think that's plenty of respect.

Matt (NY)

Other than WR and TE do the Chargers have a distinct positional advantage over the Bears?

Michael
  (1:43 PM)

Matt, I'm not even sure I'd say tight end is an advantage for the Chargers. At this point because of injuries, Antonio Gates just seems like a guy to me. The advantage in my opinion is in the punting. They've got a beast in punter Mike Scifres. Bears special teams coach Dave Toub said that Scifres basically took Hester out of the game back in 2007 because he'd bomb these incredibly high kicks that enabled the coverage to quickly get on top of Hester.

mike (iowa)

Why did they cut nick reed and sign another DE when they have wooten who can't get on the field.

Michael
  (1:44 PM)

Mike, I think that's an indication of what the Bars think of Wootton. I also think the Bears like Chauncey Davis' familiarity with their system. Davis played in a system in Atlanta very similar to what the Bears are playing.

brandon (scottsdale)

do you realized you've answered questions from jammy, jamice, and benjy? ROFL!

Michael
  (1:46 PM)

Interesting. I'm a fan of alliteration, I guess. Except the last one doesn't really fit, huh?

William (Charlotte)

Earl Bennet has played great since coming off injury, but kinda makes the rest of the corp silly for not being able to figure it out. How much of this is Earl is a good receiver and how much is he is the only one on the same page as Jay?

Michael
  (1:48 PM)

It's a little of both, William. I can tell you this: a couple of receivers told me that as soon as Bennett came back to the lineup, Cutler would throw him all of the balls. So that's saying something to me for the receivers to call that before it even happened.

Chaz (Chicago)

Will we see any more of Kahlil Bell on the offensive side to spell Barber? He was quite impressive in exhibition play.

Michael
  (1:49 PM)

Chaz, I doubt it. At this point, Kahlil is more of a special teamer than contributor on offense.

Justin (Chicago)

Is the NFC North the best division in all of football? Right now it seems like the only competition is the NFC South. The NFC pro bowlers will be over 50% from the NFC North

Michael
  (1:52 PM)

That's a great question, Justin. Collectively, the NFC North has a much better record than the rest of the division. I'd agree with your assessment on this one.

Jon (Ann Arbor)

If the game is close and heated, you think Cutler and Rivers start jawing with one another?

Michael
  (1:53 PM)

I don't think so, Jon. I think both guys have grown up quite a bit from that.

Eric (Chicago)

Michael...Carimi to IR? Say it isn't so!

Michael
  (1:54 PM)

It's true. A source told me after practice yesterday that it was about to happen. Source told me, "it doesn't look good" and that Carimi "is about to shut it down for the season."

olu (chicago)

with carimi on injured reserve, is there any good tackle out there the bears can pick up... omiyale = unreliable....

Michael
  (1:56 PM)

Olu, look for the Bears to promote from within. I expect a practice squad guy to move up like Levi Horn. We reported that a couple of days ago.

Zachary Sabitt (Chicago)

With all the talk about Tebow and the broncos, do you think they could pull off a sneaky victory against the bears in a couple weeks?

Michael
  (1:57 PM)

I seriously doubt it, Zachary. I don't see all that running around working against this defense. In fact, I worry that Tebow could comeo out of that game with some major bumps and bruises.

Jerry Angelo (Hallas)

Afraid that Carimi turns into a Chris Williams (not-reliable player that can get injured at any time and that after all isn't that good) too soon to call it?

Michael
  (1:58 PM)

Too soon, Jerry. Too soon.

Raz (North Dakota)

Will the Bears continue to run the g-power now that Edwin Williams is going to be in the lineup for the rest of the year or do you see them moving towards more dives?

Michael
  (1:59 PM)

They'll keep running that power. Mike Tice is a little worried about Edwin Williams' ability in space, but said he thinks Edwin is more powerful than Chris Williams; just not as athletic.

Michael
  (2:01 PM)

Guys, that's my time. Gotta get out of here and head over to the practice bubble. Looks like a big day for Bears news. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.